THINGS TO CELEBRATE.
There are many successes to celebrate from 2017, such as the 24 children dropped off on the doorstep of our children’s center in Myanmar by a rebel commander! We’re also absolutely thrilled about the 50 Muslim children hand-picked to receive a scholarship instead of being trained for war in Mindanao. And, as always, we never cease to brag about the fantastic leaders we work with around the world. Our international staff is compassionate and courageous to fight for justice, no matter the cost. They are the real unknown heroes of today.
Not only are there new rescued children to celebrate, but there are those who have graduated from our programs on various levels. In 2017, five of our graduates were given scholarships to attend college in Myanmar. This is from areas where they have no citizenship, so this means they have been granted citizenship status, too! This is a major win.
In Mexico, our grassroots values-training programs through children in soccer doubled in size. One of our kids even played as a starting forward for Mexico in the Korea World Cup in 2017!
Overall, 4,394 children were touched by our programs last year, with 1,500 of those being children impacted though relief work in an ISIS conflict area. We connected with 286 leaders in 2017 to foster local impact for justice. Effective leaders can look like anyone from a school teacher to a village council, an insurgent commander to a local government leader, a staff member at one of our homes to a project leader. We invest in those who choose to be change-agents, creating peace in their environment… no matter the circumstance. Thank you for making these impacts possible!
UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2018.
Coffee. We’ve been working on this in the background for a while — a possible PAK-47 coffee brand. As we empower other leaders to run with this, it might just become a reality in 2018!
Love Your Enemies. This movement focuses on fostering positive engagement with rebel leaders. We’ve continued to build this in Mindanao for some time. It looks like there is enough grassroots leadership momentum for this to get more focus in 2018.
Expansion into Honduras. Our young leaders, Paco and Elisa, are going into the heart of Tegucigalpa, which is listed as the fourth most violent city in the world by Business Insider (Woody, 2017). They will train over 100 leaders on how to launch sustainable soccer programs in cartel-controlled areas while simultaneously creating one in Tegucigalpa. Paco and Elisa’s work will open the door to continue expansion throughout Latin America.
Education Program. Ali and Dallah were handpicked to pilot a new education program in Mindanao. This area is saturated with conflict, but Ali and Dallah’s success has proven that an education program is possible here. As we continue to develop relationships with the community, we hope to expand this project into a center for education.
Many of our projects are bound to encounter conflict this year. Its the nature of the region, and we are especially prone as our work requires a multiethnic, cross-insurgent, and broad collaboration. However, in 2018 our promise is to continue to rescue, restore, and reshape communities no matter what it takes.
We hope that you will find much joy in tracking with us in 2018. Know that your every dollar counts, just like every child counts. We value you as part of our community and will continue to do our best to be savvy, courageous, and compassionate advocates for justice with you this year.
May the PAK-47 Team continue to serve you and all the children well!